Billy Corgan: “Paint colour actually changes the sound of a guitar”

(Image credit: John Medina/Getty Images)

MusicRadar's best of 2018: When tone guru Billy Corgan talks guitar sounds, we’re inclined to listen, but we’ll be taking the Smashing Pumpkins leader’s latest assertion with a pinch of salt.

In a video interview with Guitar Center, Corgan begins by reeling off the specs of his Reverend signature models, before dropping a finish bombshell.

“People think I’m a bit goofy, but I do think paint colour actually changes the sound of a guitar,” he mused.

“I’ve found through the years that certain paints sound different, so the white Reverend, I think, sounds better. I have a couple of other ones, but this one seems to sound the best.”

We’re all aware of the theory that nitrocellulose finishes sound better, but specific colours offering improved tone? Well, that’s a new one on us.

It’s not the first controversial comment Corgan’s made on the six-string front this year; back in August, he revealed beef with both Fender and Gibson.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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